Hi Three to Five Tribe! I’ve tried most ways of eating: Whole30, Keto, Plant-Based, you name it and I have probably dabbled with it. Don’t worry, I am not here to say I am starting yet another new way of eating, but since I think of my body and my health like a science experiment, I recently discovered certain foods were giving me digestive upset, which led me to the Low-FODMAP Diet.
FODMAP stands for:
FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the body. Instead of being processed in the small intestine, they make it all the way to the large intestine where they are broken down by fermentation. The fermentation process draws in water and produces carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane gas all of which cause the intestines to expand and can lead to some rather unpleasant symptoms including:
- Abdominal Distension
- Abdominal Pain
FODMAPS are found in a variety of foods, either naturally or as additives. Many of these foods are good for you too. For example:
- Fruits/Vegetables contain fructose
- Vegetables/Grains contain fructans
- Dairy contains lactose
- Legumes contain galactans
- Artificial Sweeteners contain polyols
A low FODMAP diet is an elimination diet that removes foods that are notoriously high in FODMAPs. Some of which include:
- Apple Juice
- Brussel Sprouts
- Coconut Water
*Here is a complete list of high FODMAP foods and what you should eat instead (low FODMAP foods).
On a Low-FODMAP Diet, for 3-8 weeks, high FODMAPs are limited or avoided. After that, individual foods can be introduced back into the diet, one at a time, to see whether that particular food or drink causes symptoms. If symptoms occur, you know you need to avoid that type of food or beverage. However, if no symptoms occur after consuming a particular food or drink for one week, this food may be considered safe to continue to eat.
Disclaimer: A Low-FODMAP Diet should only be followed for a short period of time as it is very restrictive. By eliminating so many foods at once, you may not be meeting all of your daily nutritional requirements, which is why this diet should only be tried if medically necessary. It is also highly advised to work with a dietitian or health care professional to make sure you are getting enough dietary nutrients. Again, this elimination diet should be a short-term solution and should not be a permeant lifestyle change.
Although I will not be adopting a Low-FODMAP Diet, I will continue to pay close attention to the signals my body sends me after eating certain foods and will be adjusting accordingly.
Eliminating High-FODMAP foods three to five days a week,